Old weapons in Montenegro pose serious threat to safety

Old weapons in Montenegro pose serious threat to safety


By Adnan Prekic – Podgorica

At a time when many states are facing serious security risks from terrorism, the greatest security risk in Montenegro is weapon surplus. Various kinds of weapons like ammunition and explosives that belonged to the former Yugoslav army, are stored in several locations in the country. It is estimated that in the military warehouses in Montenegro there are currently located 3,705 million kilograms of old weapons whose age ranges from 20 to 50 years.

Despite the fact that from June 2006 to December 2013 there have been destroyed nearly 2,867,000 kilograms of weapons, this problem remains one of the biggest security and safety concern in the country. This fact was officially addressed by the Montenegrin Ministry of Defence in Information on ordnance. Old weapons are located in eight military warehouse and the government argues that they are safely stored in accordance with the regulations. Part of the weapons surplus was sold. Since 2006 Montenegro has sold a total of 5,865,000 kilograms of ammunition and 47,782 pieces of weapons and other combat equipment. From this sale the state has earned a total of 23,496,670 euros.

All surplus weapons belong to the former Yugoslav Army. These include sea mines and torpedoes, rocket ship, plane ammunition and various artillery ammunition calibers from 76 to 155mm. All the ordnance mentioned are old between 20 and 50 years old. Surplus ammunition and ordnance is one of the biggest security and safety threats in the region. According to the estimates, published in October 2013 in Serbian media, in the Western Balkans there are more than 160,000 tons of ammunition that should be destroyed.  Bosnia and Herzegovina has 18,500, while Serbia 8,000 tons. Albania is among the countries in the region that has had considerable success in destroying ammunition. This country has destroyed up to 100,000 tons of ammunition in five years.

The way in which old weapons are dangerous for the safety of citizens is depicted by the explosion in “Vir”, which occurred back in 2006. On this occasion a storage of commercial explosives exploded and the detonation destroyed hundreds of buildings in a 20-kilometers radius. More than fifty people were injured but fortunatelly no one was killed.